On lifestyle changes, an evolving palette, and consistency.

Last week, I made my usual go-to low calorie carrot cake cupcakes for an upcoming cookie party (super easy trick, if you’re ever in need: any box cake mix, add a can of pumpkin, no other ingredients and bake 18 muffins, each will have 110-120 cals each, depending on the nutritionals in the box). I usually have one as a treat after dinner (or sometimes, even as my lunch, with a yogurt, for a switch up!), maybe with a dab of peanut butter as ‘frosting.’ With that in mind, I decided to make peanut butter frosting for the cookie party, since a) I knew I’d get an eye-roll for making low-fat cupcakes for a cookie party and b) to dress them up a bit.

*I promise, I’m getting to my point of this post!*

The frosting called for about 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, milk, and 1/3 cup of peanut butter. Um, yumtastic, right? And yum, it was, as I licked the spoon and had to force myself to pour water and soap into the mixing bowl so I wouldn’t gorge myself on frosting. A little while later, my stomach felt heavy and I got that once-familiar ‘sugar mouth’ feeling (ya know, when you eat too much sugar and feel like it’s coating your mouth…or is that just me?!) and it occurred to me. My taste for sweet things is waning. I am becoming far more in love with savory foods and muted sweet treats (such as these low fat cupcakes that taste dense, moist and much more neutral than making them the regular way).

I never quite ‘got’ what people meant when they said their palettes change over time,or evolve. But now, I do. And, this is also in part due to my way of eating now and something Tanya (the mastermind over at barre n9ne studio of course! Love her and her approach, cannot say it enough!) said during a recent nutrition seminar: we need to change our habits when it comes to eating and ‘retrain’ them to want more healthful things.

For example, learn (or retrain) yourself to crave sweet things in the form of an orange, or strawberries, and not as focused on processed or, worse, fake sugars. I rarely eat processed sugars (and never fake after realizing it just tricks me into thinking I am hungry, when I am not), and probably haven’t eaten much of it at all since starting the challenge in May. This frosting experience was an a-ha moment to me: my palette is finally ‘catching up’ to what I eat, and is learning to crave the good, and notsomuch the bad (now if I could just get it to *not* crave wine and cheese…oh, who are we kidding, we all need a little in our lives, right?!)

Now, this isn’t to say that I am perfect, because I am not. Clearly, I enjoy wine. And I plan for wine. And cheese. And whatever else I want to eat. But the key word here is – plan. I plan for when I go out to eat, the best I can. I plan to allot some calories for wine when I’d like it. And to me, that is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change. There is no short – or long-term goal in a lifestyle change. It is your way of life. Period. It doesn’t mean I will count calories for the rest of my life. It does mean that I will generally understand what my body needs calorie- and nutrient-wise and eat to that, not focus on what I was focusing on previously: eating for pleasure, not as fuel. YES, food can – and should – be fun and pleasurable, but it doesn’t mean over-satiating yourself, over-indulging and getting to that too-full-I’m-going-to-burst feeling. Let’s face it, that feeling never feels good!

So I guess the point of my post, besides waxing poetic about how passionate I really am about this approach, is to just say that this is just working for me. And I firmly believe that it will always work for me. It’ll never feel like a diet. It’ll never feel depriving. It’s all about planning and consistency. 

And results. I looked at my before/after pictures from the 60 day challenge again, and wow, this journey has been incredible. And there is so much more to come and so much more I am excited about. Heading into the holidays knowing I will choose smart, pick my (food) battles and come out a winner. Being more involved in the barre n9ne family more than ever, continuing to challenge – both barre n9ne and running. I am excited about the future. I am excited about what’s to come. Sky is truly the limit.

(and I truly hope you don’t get sick of me babbling on about this stuff…it’s what I am passionate about and sometimes, I just gotta put pen to paper on it.)

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28 thoughts on “On lifestyle changes, an evolving palette, and consistency.

  1. great perspective here! i totally agree with you. OUr palettes do change and thank goodness they do. I don’t crave sugar cause i don’t eat a lot of sugar and now when i do it gives me a headache. Glad this approach is working for you.

    1. Thank you!! Our palettes definitely change! Your post on that recently definitely had me thinking about this. I am glad not to crave fake sugar and sweets anymore, and now crave things like…healthy bites!! 🙂

  2. LOVE everything about this post. Obviously. 😉
    I’ve totally noticed all of those things lately too – this new lifestyle of ours has been so eye-opening but so rewarding and so just…awesome, for lack of a better word (here I go, cult leader in the making LOL).

    One other thing I noticed just yesterday? The not eating out of “pattern” – when I chose not to eat my usual 4pm snack yesterday because well, I didn’t feel hungry just then. I normally feel hunger around then and break out my favorite chobani, but yesterday? I didn’t feel it so I didn’t eat it. And it ended up being the right decision. I went home, ate dinner, hit up barre n9ne and enjoyed that delicious pumpkin “muffin” for dessert (calories I had “left” since I didn’t eat that yogurt just because it was part of my “pattern).

    Just SO interesting – continually learning new things about myself through this process. Habits and being tied to patterns, being one of the biggest eye openers.

    1. We are totally, 100% cult leaders!! And I love it! And you bring up a good point, eating for hunger not for habit. I obviously agree with that point too and not eating cuz you always do at XX time. Really does make a difference!

  3. I absolutely believe our palettes change and that we can change them to an extent. I may never like watermelon, but I can change what I find to be sweet. For me, a rice cake with PB2 mixed with a small bit of hazelnut stevia is as sweet of a treat as I need or want. I don’t crave or want cakes, cookies, brownies. I know people think I’m nuts or have this amazing willpower. That’s not it. I just don’t care for that stuff. It’s not what I want and it makes me feel pretty crappy if I do eat it. That total sugar icky feeling.

    1. EXACTLY! Not about willpower, but about just simply not caring for those things. We each enjoy certain foods for certain reasons, why eat stuff that doesn’t appeal just because? I’d rather eat with purpose!

  4. It’s a crazy thing, huh? I still crave sweets, and rich ones at that, but care only to have ones that are really worth it. Not store bought cookies that are dry and crumbly or packaged up sweets. It has to have somethin special to it. Before I would have eaten anything with sugar and loved it. LOL

    1. Totally crazy! But you bring up a good point, one I didn’t mention – I DO enjoy a RICH dessert, one with real butter and sugar and really good dark chocolate, for example. THAT, to me, is worth it sometimes, but just a random cookie that isn’t even good? NOT worth it! Good point!

  5. Love this and LOVE the cupcake recipe…I will be making that this weekend. I always keep 2 treats for myself and have my hubby bring the rest to his office. I bribe his boss with food 🙂 I guess I should send carrots with him, but that wouldn’t be as fun.

    It’s amazing how much our palettes change – I use to use a ridiculous amount of splenda . Now artificial sugars make me ill. I wish I could say that I don’t like a nice piece of chocolate, but I do. HOWEVER, I will not waste my calories on the crappy kind. It has to be something special that’s really worth it!

    1. Def try it!! I did it with carrot cake and it’s SO good! Any flavor is great though! And yes, I agree on chocolate. I still do enjoy and crave it…but has to be good. Dove Promises? SO good and 44 cals for one? yes please! 😉

  6. I LOVE this. My palette changed when I had to watch my sugar intake during my pregnancy with gestational diabetes. I had to cut out fruit juice all together. Now, when I drink juice, I dilute it with half water. It’s just too sweet otherwise.

    See how healthy habits stick around? Great post! So excited for you!

  7. I can totally relate to this. I’ve been on a bland diet for almost 4 months and at first it was hard to adapt to it but now it’s my norm. When I was on vacation, I ate whatever I wanted, and while it was great, I was happy to get back to my new norm when I got home. It’s funny, I used to love anything dairy (especially cheese), now I don’t really miss it at all.

    1. Isn’t it funny how you just adjust to these things? Dairy? Oh that’s a tough one for me! I LOVE dairy, but I guess if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t miss it either 😉 (I’m lactose intolerant but seem to be kicking that, because I’ve been eating regular cheese and stuff with no problem! Probably why I love dairy a lot lately!)

    1. Very good balance! Nothing wrong with liking sweets either. I hope that this didn’t come across that way. because I do like some sweets, just not super sugary. That’s a change for me.

  8. I have never been a huge fan of sweets, lucky for me! I do love some dark chocolate though, which is a changing palette for me.

    In regards to the sugar mouth….
    I get that after drinking a diet soda. I refer to it as “my teeth wearing a sweater”. People think I am crazy so I am glad to hear that it happens to someone else.

  9. my calorie rule is that if i’m going to spend them, it had BETTER be worth it. fresh yeast roll and butter? OH yeah. average bread, kinda meh? nope. if it’s going to “cost” me, it had better be worth the cost.

  10. Oh sugar mouth…I totally get what you’re saying. I am a stress/emotional eater, and most of the time, I turn to sugar. Cupcakes, brownies…funny, though…I haven’t gotten a taste for ice cream, which used to be my big thing.

    I love perspectives like this…shows that if you take the time to consistently work toward a goal, you WILL notice the changes you’ve wanted to see….at times when you least expect to.

    1. It TOTALLY takes time! And of course, this doesn’t mean I never EVER have anything sweet, because I do, I just prefer different types of sweet. dark chocolate vs. skittles, stuff like that! (though I do heart skittles – lol). But it feels rewarding to see the change after working at it for so long!

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